Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mango Black Rice Cakes


Featured Ingredient: Palm Sugar + Navitas Giveaway














Mango sticky rice is hands down my favorite sweet treat at the night street markets in Thailand. Silky mango placed on a bed of coconut soaked sticky rice – I think that alone is worth the airfare.

This fun muffin tin riff uses antioxidant packed whole-grain black rice to up the health ante and add a visual wow factor. Recent research suggests that black rice, also called Forbidden Rice by Lotus Foods, contains an antioxidant prowess on par with fruits like blueberries. Black rice is not the same as wild rice, which is a longer grain rice with a much different flavor.

Much of the sweet delights in Southeast Asia are sweetened with coconut palm sugar. To make this granulated sugar, nectar from coconut palm flowers is boiled into a thick syrup, then dried and ground to produce a granulated sweetener with a flavor reminiscent of caramel. Palm sugar has a lower glycemic index and more complex flavor than white sugar and may contain several nutrients found in coconut palms. You can use it a as measure for measure replacement for white sugar in almost any recipe. But to keep the coconut milk topping white for presentation purposes in this recipe, you may want to use a light colored natural cane sugar such as Florida Crystals instead of brown tinged coconut.

If possible, use the yellow skin Ataulfo mangos which have a stringless flesh that melts in your mouth. Even if working with silicon muffin cups, it’s a good idea to give them a light greasing or use paper liners so no rice is left behind at the bottom.

As is the case every Wednesday, it’s time for another Muffin Tin Mania product giveaway. The kind folks over at Navitas Naturals would like to award one of my readers with some of their excellent palm sugar to try out in this recipe or other baked goods.

















To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post that says “I’d climb a palm tree for mango sticky rice” along with some way of identifying yourself such as your initials, name or email address and I will use this online tool to randomly select a winner. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday September 26th, so if you entered write the date down on your calendar and check back in then for a chance to claim your prize. This contest is only open to Canadian and U.S residents.

Thank you everyone for entering this contest. Congratulations to Susan S who was the random winner of this palm sugar giveaway. Susan, just send me your shipping details and I'll get some Navitas Coconut sugar sent your way. 

Mango Black Rice Cakes

















2/3 cup black rice
1 large egg
1 cup + 2/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons light colored granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced

In a small saucepan, combine rice with 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduced heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes, or until tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in cooked rice, 1 cup coconut milk, coconut sugar, ginger and vanilla. Divide among 6 medium sized muffin cups and cook for 20 minutes, or until set. Let cool several minutes before unmolding.

When ready to serve, combine 2/3 cup coconut milk and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until a slight simmer is reached and sugar has dissolved. Place black rice cakes on serving plates and serve with warm coconut milk and mango.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Strawberry Granola Muffins + Bear Naked Giveaway



Featured Ingredient: Granola














I’ve always had a soft spot for granola. It must be that lethal crunchy and sweet combination. I’ll admit that it’s a late night vice for me.

And for muffin lovers, stirring some into the batter results in an interesting textural contrast tht you don’t get with straight up flour. Case in point: These whole-grain strawberry delights are perfect when you only have time for a breakfast on the go. Or warm in the microwave and serve warm with a dollop of honey. Now that strawberry season is over, it’s a good opportunity to use the convenient frozen berries which can be tossed into the mix straight from the freezer.

Milled from the whole-grain quinoa, salubrious quinoa flour has soft texture and grassy flavor that mellows with cooking. If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply use straight up whole wheat pastry flour for these muffins or another flour combination of your choice.

As it the case every Wednesday, it’s time for another Muffin Tin Mania product giveaway. The kind folks over at Bear Naked would like to award one of my readers with some of their crunchy fruit infused granola to try out in this recipe or to simply spoon up with some milk. 














To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post that says “I’d get naked for granola” along with some way of identifying yourself such as your initials, name or email address and I will use this online tool to randomly select a winner. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday September 19th, so if you entered write the date down on your calendar and check back in then for a chance to claim your prize. This contest is only open to U.S residents.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. Congrats to Sarah who was randomly selected as the winner. 

Strawberry Granola Muffins
















1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup palm sugar or other granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup melted coconut oil or other oil of choice
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 cups granola of choice
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh or frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in oil, sour cream and orange zest. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in 1 cup granola and all of the strawberries. Divide batter among 12 standard sized greased or paper lined muffin cups and sprinkle remaining granola on top of the batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out nearly clean. Let cool several minutes before unmolding.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cheesy Beer Muffins + Bob’s Red Mill Giveaway


Featured Ingredient: Whole Wheat Pastry Flour 














I can’t believe I have not yet used whole wheat pastry flour as a featured ingredient. How I love WWPF.

Milled from lower gluten soft wheat, whole wheat pastry flour produces less “heavy” baked goods than regular whole wheat flour which is gleaned from hard wheat. This means that whenever a recipe calls for nutritionally inferior all-purpose flour (and there are still many that do), I almost always use whole wheat pastry as a 1-to-1 substitute with very good results. Case in point: These savory cheese beer muffins. The carbonation from the beer contributes to the leavening (i.e. rising) of muffins. Make sure not to use a beer with a lot of hops such as IPA when baking as it can impart a bitter flavor. Infused with cheesy goodness, they are a wonderful muffin to take to the office for a healthy snack.

Whole wheat pastry flour is popping up in more and more stores. But if you can’t find it and want to give this recipe a shot, I’ve got good news. It is time for another Muffin Tin Mania product giveaway. The kind folks over at Bob’s Red Mill would like to award one of my readers with some of their whole wheat pastry flour to try out in the kitchen. 
















To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post that says “Bob, you are the man” along with some way of identifying yourself such as your initials, name or email address and I will use this online tool to randomly select a winner. I’ll announce the winner next Wednesday September 12th, so if you entered write the date down on your calendar and check back in then for a chance to claim your prize.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. Congrats to Katherine who was randomly selected as the winner. Katherine, just use the contact button above to send me your shipping details and I will get some of the good stuff from Bob's Red Mill sent to you.


Cheesy Beer Muffins














2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups wheat, lager or pilsner beer
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, thyme, and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg and whisk in beer, oil and garlic. Add wet ingredients to dry and fold in cheese. Divide among 12 standard sized greased or paper lined muffin tins. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out nearly clean. Let cool several minutes before unmolding. Serve warm.